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Old 07-31-2009, 12:01 PM   #41
Captain Joy
 
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

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Originally Posted by Dinadon View Post
If you Feint someone, then someone else interupts you (by Wait or turn order), you still get the feint bonuses, so as long as you can make the attack....things like Feint, Counterattack, Judo Throw and Riposte are about taking the holes in an opponents defense and making them worse for the defender.
Ah, excellent point. I'm even more convinced that you can Judo throw after a successful parry even if you and the other guy make a few more defense rolls in the interim.
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:02 PM   #42
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Kromm's weighed in on this repeatedly, and I think it's in the FAQ.
I believe your referring to this?
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Originally Posted by FAQ 3.4.1.10
Could I have a clear description of what a turn is in GURPS?

It's pretty clear that at least some confusion comes from the perception that there's a universal "turn" and that everyone acts during this "turn" in order of some "initiative number." Basically, that's wrong. Combat is a series of turns taken in order of Basic Speed, and each person's turn is unique to him. When a person gets his next turn . . . it simply means that a second has passed since he last acted. Effects that started on one of his previous turns mark another second, but there's no "universal turn clock" to which such things answer. If he did an All-Out Attack on his turn, then he's defenseless until his next turn, not until the slowest guy has his turn and the sequence starts over again with the fastest guy. If he casts a spell that lasts 10 seconds on another guy, it ends ten turns down the road for for him, the caster not ten seconds from now on some "turn clock."

Turns flow in a continuous cycle: 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, . . . The time from 1 to 1, from 2 to 2, from 3 to 3, or from 4 to 4 is always one second. All other pairs from 1 to 2, from 1 to 3, etc. have indeterminate lengths less than one second. Nothing special happens between 4 and 1, either; {1, 2, 3, 4} is no more or less important than {2, 3, 4, 1}, {3, 4, 1, 2}, or {4, 1, 2, 3}.

When people do assume that there's a universal turn during which each person acts, and that each cycle {1, 2, 3, 4} has a definite beginning and end for everyone, all at the same time, misconceptions arise. One misconception is that it's possible to reorder actions within the sequence. It isn't. If you decide via some house rule that next turn, {1, 2, 3, 4} will become {4, 2, 3, 1}, then you'll end up with 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 2, 3, 1, and fighter 4 will get two actions without interruption while poor fighter 1 has to wait for all of his enemies pound on him twice before he can do a darn thing. Maneuvers such as All-Out Attack assume that all of your foes will get a turn during which they may attack you; defenses are set up so that foes won't get two turns in which to saturate your defenses before you can act again. Reordering is also unwise because it plays hob with effect durations. To use my reordering example, the time from 1 to 1 clearly isn't the same as the time from 4 to 4. In short, things break badly.

Another misconception is that because there's a universal turn, fighters are required to declare their actions before it begins, and then perform their actions in some order. Then a new turn begins. This, too, is broken. Fighter 2 is acting a little bit after 1, and responding to him; 3 is acting a little bit after 2, and responding to 1 and 2; and so on. Fighters can't declare because they're in mid-action until their next turn. Only fighter 1 has fully resolved his action and started a new one when 1 comes up again. Fighter 2 is still doing something else.
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:29 PM   #43
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

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Originally Posted by roguebfl View Post
I believe your referring to this?
<snip>
That's the one. Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:44 PM   #44
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

Thanks for guiding me to the FAQ, Bruno. I think I found the entry you referenced (34.1.10 Could I have a clear description of what a turn is in GURPS?), and that gave me a clearer idea of potential problems for an immediate counter. I'll try to address them here - tell me if I missed anything.

Two attacks vs one: In the case of turn order 1,2,3,4, after one (or more) turns have passed you can end up with, say, 1,2,3,4,1,4,2,3,1,2,3,4, if 1 attacks 4 during the second round (and 4 counters). I realized this could be a problem from the beginning, but mostly ignored it. Sure, 4 is acting twice without 2 or 3 getting to act between them, but his action is only really affecting 1 - who has been able to act. 4 is paying for this in that 2 and 3 get to then act twice. Another reason I ignored it is because a person's actions generally can't be divided into neat 1-second turns. Sometimes he might attack every 0.7 seconds, sometimes every 1.3. So, allowing him to act a wee bit faster than once/second, but following it up with a "recovery delay," seems OK to me.
One thing I hadn't considered, however, were actions that do affect more than one foe. One could presumably combine Counterattack with Whirlwind Attack, or on the more realistic side use Judo Throw to knock one foe into another. This is not fair to the characters who aren't being countered, as it allows 4 to attack 2 and/or 3 twice in a row without additional penalty. An easy fix is to simply forbid such actions. Attacks that hit multiple opponents require too much setup to pull off as a reaction - if you want a Whirlwind Counterattack, or to knock one attacker into the other, you must Wait. To help maintain realism, I'd also recommend that Judo Throw, when used purely as a reaction, cannot actually move the foe. One of the hexes he "lands" in must be his starting hex. With this in mind, it might also be realistic to forbid a damaging Judo Throw as a reaction.
The big problem with this fix is what happens with exotic abilities. If a knight has a magical sword that sends out a 2-yard-radius burst of fire everytime it hits, or a super has a literally explosive punch, then a Counterattack should logically bring about the effect. This allows one to hurt others outside of your actual turn, which is just as unfair as a Whirlwind Counterattack. In this case, it would be very difficult to balance and justify*, as opposed to one or the other.

Delayed Effects: Although the Counterattack might not affect those uninvolved directly, it could allow the defender to take more advantage of certain events than he should. We'll keep the example of 1,2,3,4 becoming 1,2,3,4,1,4,2,3,1,2,3,4 due to 1 attacking 4. We'll throw in the concept that 2 is actually a spellcaster. Consider that he begins casting a 1-second attack spell against 4 (or a 1-second healing/buffing spell on 1) the first round. This means 4 actually gets off two different attacks before 2 finishes casting, despite the fact that he should have only managed one. The case is also true if 2 had cast a buff on 4 or a debuff on 1 - if the effect runs out during the round the counter occurs, 4 is benefiting from it once more than he should.
To tell you the truth, I'm OK with this. Although 4 is getting more out of the counter than he should, I think this will discourage players (and even NPCs) from acting with "turn awareness." That is, 1 might have attacked 4 more aggressively than he should have because he knew that, before 4 could act, 2 was going to make 1 nigh-impervious to 4's attacks, or render 4 in no condition to fight back. Alternatively, he may have done so because he knew 2 was probably going to kill him soon anyway, or because he knew the buff on 4 would run out before 4 had a chance to act. Additionally, although 4 is getting good treatment here, it is almost completely out of his own hands - he's reliant on 1 to attack him before the effect begins or ends. From a realism perspective, this seems to work - 4 really is acting before he normally would, because 1 has set himself up for a counter (saving 4 a bit of time).

Defense penalties: Some active defenses (or all of them, if using one of the optional rules from Martial Arts) suffer a penalty based on how much they've been used this turn. So... what happens when you do a counter? Do the penalties reset immediately (but then accumulate until you actually get another turn, meaning 2 and 3 in the example above can seriously lower your defenses), or do they reset once your normal turn comes up?
I think either way works from a balance perspective. In the former, you get to reset the penalties early - but then you can end up accruing some serious penalties in the meantime! In the latter, penalties work just like they normally would. From a realism perspective, I favor the latter. Just because an enemy set himself up to be countered doesn't mean you've completely recovered from all the defenses you've made. It does seem odd that you're able to make an attack without difficulty but still have defensive problems, but I think it still works - afterall, you have to be recovering from something during the turn you essentially skip, right?

Previously addressed: Some other considerations are things like what to do with maneuvers that have an effect on your defenses, how to handle movement (obviously you can't move early just because someone attacked you, right?), and interruptions were mentioned in my first post, and addressed in post #9.


*I do have an idea, but it involves creating a new combat option (attacking without setup - an immediate attack you can make before your turn, but that is very difficult to hit with) and revising the way Counterattack (at least) works. The end result for the Counterattack would be the same, and I think it could lead to some interesting situations (like a martial arts master pulling off a stop-hit... without a Wait maneuver), but I'm fairly certain the concept would be absolutely hated. I may post it later.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:58 PM   #45
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

Ugh, stupid internet connection making me miss the other posts. I'll address them here, rather than editing the other one.

Feints are... nebulous. They are perhaps the most abstract thing in the GURPS rules. This isn't because they don't exist - oh, they most definately do. Rather, it's the timing. I can't imagine a feint that occurs a full second before an attack actually doing... anything. The point of a Feint is to make the enemy react in one way when they should be reacting in another. A Feint should really occur sometime between the declaration of using Feint and the follow-up attack. Indeed, I know a lot of GMs favor not rolling the Feint until the other attack is going to be pulled off.

I had forgotten about the Riposte option. And, really, I think it makes a good deal of sense to lump it in with Judo Throw and Counterattack as a "counter." I mean, a Riposte would realistically be faster than a Counterattack, as a Riposte actually turns your defensive action into an attack, rather than just immediately following it with one.
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Old 08-01-2009, 02:48 PM   #46
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

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Originally Posted by SuedodeuS View Post
I had forgotten about the Riposte option. And, really, I think it makes a good deal of sense to lump it in with Judo Throw and Counterattack as a "counter." I mean, a Riposte would realistically be faster than a Counterattack, as a Riposte actually turns your defensive action into an attack, rather than just immediately following it with one.
That's not quite the distinction. In a Riposte, you've purposefully changed your parry (with a penalty) to lower your opponent's defenses for your following attack. With a Judo throw/lock from Parry, you've purposefully limited yourself to Judo parry for the benefit of "setting up" a throw or lock.

For Counterattack, however, there is no setup. You can do it anytime you've successfully parried someone, on your attack. (We can quibble about whether or not "immediately" requires nothing else to have happened in-between.)

As someone else mentioned, Counterattack really is just a specialized form of Deceptive Attack, that you can put points into to get better. (In fact, if you haven't put any points into it, you always get a better difficulty/effect ratio out of Deceptive Attack.) It seems to exist primarily to fill that hole, since you can't directly put points into Riposte or Deceptive Attack.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:20 PM   #47
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

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Originally Posted by kenclary View Post
That's not quite the distinction. In a Riposte, you've purposefully changed your parry (with a penalty) to lower your opponent's defenses for your following attack. With a Judo throw/lock from Parry, you've purposefully limited yourself to Judo parry for the benefit of "setting up" a throw or lock.

For Counterattack, however, there is no setup. You can do it anytime you've successfully parried someone, on your attack. (We can quibble about whether or not "immediately" requires nothing else to have happened in-between.)

As someone else mentioned, Counterattack really is just a specialized form of Deceptive Attack, that you can put points into to get better. (In fact, if you haven't put any points into it, you always get a better difficulty/effect ratio out of Deceptive Attack.) It seems to exist primarily to fill that hole, since you can't directly put points into Riposte or Deceptive Attack.
A GURPS Riposte, unless I'm mistaken, involves using a parry to move the enemy's weapon out of line to parry your own, and then immediately - indeed, in the same movement - striking your foe with that weapon. Note here I'm talking about what it represents, in real-world terms, rather than its game-mechanical effects (take penalty to own defense to inflict penalty to enemy defense).

Thus, a Riposte is faster than a Counterattack, but only marginally so. While I don't think a Counterattack should be able to interrupt a one-target Rapid Strike (without the counterattacker Rapid Striking as well), I think a Riposte should - which might make it a more effective option than it currently is (and thus potentially raise balance concerns, although this isn't too problematic as Riposte isn't trainable). I've established why I think Counterattack should take place immediately in previous posts. I will note, however, that Counterattack is likely there due more to it being a moderately common tactic that is trainable than to fill some sort of mechanical "gap." The fact it did so rather nicely was icing on the cake.
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:30 PM   #48
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

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Originally Posted by SuedodeuS View Post
A GURPS Riposte, unless I'm mistaken, involves using a parry to move the enemy's weapon out of line to parry your own, and then immediately - indeed, in the same movement - striking your foe with that weapon. Note here I'm talking about what it represents, in real-world terms, rather than its game-mechanical effects (take penalty to own defense to inflict penalty to enemy defense).

Thus, a Riposte is faster than a Counterattack, but only marginally so.
That's not strictly true. GURPS Riposte can be used for any "technique" where a difficult defense sets up a following offense.

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I will note, however, that Counterattack is likely there due more to it being a moderately common tactic that is trainable than to fill some sort of mechanical "gap." The fact it did so rather nicely was icing on the cake.
Well, I'm saying that's exactly what the gap _is_: that Riposte and Deceptive Attack are not trainable, for game balance reasons (and probably others, I'm not the designer here).

However, the key difference between Riposte and Counterattack is not the timing with which the attack follows the parry. It is that with Riposte, the parry was different, and "special" (read: had a penalty resulting from a players direct decision to perform the Riposte instead of a regular Parry), whereas Counterattack can follow any Parry. Counterattack is chosen (or can be) by the player once their own turn/attack comes up, not when the parry is made.

(There are other differences by GURPS rules; Riposte requires that the same weapon perform the parry and attack, for example.)

More or less, I think you're reading too much into the combat options about their specific timing. All of the "problem" actions you've brought up can be rationalized to work without needing to interrupt the turn order. (For example, Riposte and Judo Throw use the Parry to create a window of opportunity that lasts long enough for your next attack, regardless of whateve speedy things you or your opponent do in-between.) Counterattack may be the hardest to rationalize (c.f. this whole discussion), but it's also the only one to use that particular "immediate" phrasing.
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:35 AM   #49
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

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Originally Posted by kenclary View Post
That's not strictly true. GURPS Riposte can be used for any "technique" where a difficult defense sets up a following offense.
Certainly, but the generalized "example" I gave is the only thing I can think of that would describe what a GURPS Riposte is in real-world terms. If you can give me an example of how a Riposte (or reactionary Judo Throw, or Counterattack) can be done such that it penalizes your opponent's defenses against your attack only, even if others attack (and are defended against) in the meantime, I'll seriously consider dropping the point of this thread. I honestly can't think of any way this can realistically be done, which is why I came up with the optional rule for instant counters in the first place.

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Originally Posted by kenclary
Well, I'm saying that's exactly what the gap _is_: that Riposte and Deceptive Attack are not trainable, for game balance reasons (and probably others, I'm not the designer here).

However, the key difference between Riposte and Counterattack is not the timing with which the attack follows the parry. It is that with Riposte, the parry was different, and "special" (read: had a penalty resulting from a players direct decision to perform the Riposte instead of a regular Parry), whereas Counterattack can follow any Parry. Counterattack is chosen (or can be) by the player once their own turn/attack comes up, not when the parry is made.

(There are other differences by GURPS rules; Riposte requires that the same weapon perform the parry and attack, for example.)
Certainly, the fact that a Riposte is risky defensively (whereas Counterattack is risky offensively) is the main difference between them. They also function differently - Riposte involves forcing the enemy to open up, whereas Counterattack takes advantage of him accidentally opening himself up. However, because Riposte involves essentially turning a parry into an attack (which is why you have to use the same weapon), whereas Counterattack involves defending and then taking advantage of the momentary hole left behind, I think Riposte would actually be a bit faster. Not by a lot, but faster nonetheless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenclary
More or less, I think you're reading too much into the combat options about their specific timing. All of the "problem" actions you've brought up can be rationalized to work without needing to interrupt the turn order. (For example, Riposte and Judo Throw use the Parry to create a window of opportunity that lasts long enough for your next attack, regardless of whateve speedy things you or your opponent do in-between.) Counterattack may be the hardest to rationalize (c.f. this whole discussion), but it's also the only one to use that particular "immediate" phrasing.
I can't think of a way you can realistically open up an enemy's defenses such that they stay open for enough time that others can attack while they are open and yet have the enemy suffer no defense penalties. The only way I can think of having an opening that only works for you is if it only lasts for a very short period of time, meaning you are the only one in position to exploit it (as you played an important role in making it).

On the other side of the equation are your own actions. Looking at Riposte, I find it hard to imagine any realistic reason why you would have to use the same weapon to attack as parry if you were able to parry another attack in the meantime.
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:28 AM   #50
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Default Re: Instant Counterattack

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Originally Posted by SuedodeuS View Post
If you can give me an example of how a Riposte (or reactionary Judo Throw, or Counterattack) can be done such that it penalizes your opponent's defenses against your attack only, even if others attack (and are defended against) in the meantime, I'll seriously consider dropping the point of this thread. I honestly can't think of any way this can realistically be done, which is why I came up with the optional rule for instant counters in the first place.
The opening is small, probably only a real opening to one direction (the one you're about to attack through), and is only going to be noticed by you, the person who created it. Some other attacker with ETS might be able to notice it, and someone with ETS and ATR might be able to see it and take advantage of it. (The mecahnics don't really support someone with ATR being able to exploit other people's Parries, but I can hardly call that a shortcoming of Riposte or Counterattack.)

GURPS has a different mechanic for making a big, everyone-in-the-theater-audience-can-see-it opening that any other attacker can take advantage of: Beat, which uses a ST-based contest.

Quote:
However, because Riposte involves essentially turning a parry into an attack (which is why you have to use the same weapon), whereas Counterattack involves defending and then taking advantage of the momentary hole left behind, I think Riposte would actually be a bit faster.
_Or_ the Riposte created a longer window of opportunity, since it was a purposeful one. It is not so much "faster" that you get to mess with the turn order (even ATR doesn't allow that, for the most part).

Quote:
The only way I can think of having an opening that only works for you is if it only lasts for a very short period of time, meaning you are the only one in position to exploit it (as you played an important role in making it).
Yes, that's what I'm getting at, though I don't think the shortness of time is short enough to be "instant."

Quote:
Looking at Riposte, I find it hard to imagine any realistic reason why you would have to use the same weapon to attack as parry if you were able to parry another attack in the meantime.
I mostly agree there. I'd prefer Riposte be a more generic mechanic. "With a Riposte, you are not required to attack with same weapon you used to Parry" is a simple enough house rule.
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